What is local SEO?
Local search engine optimization (SEO) is when you optimize your website and online properties where they target locally interested and potential customers.
The main goal for your local SEO strategy and development should be to increase your brand’s community presence and to be seen, optimized and found in more localized online searches on the top used search platforms like…
Google, Bing, Yahoo, Youtube, Siri, Alexa, Ask.com, etc.
Does your website rank high for customers searching on these platforms for your products or services?
Many business owners and leaders would probably like to be, but may not know where to start or understand the potential value it could offer.
An easy example of a business that would benefit greatly from being seen on local searches would be a restaurant or a plumber.
Local SEO is not only about optimizing for the keywords themselves like global or overall website SEO. Local involves optimizing for the location in which the search was made in or about.
Google must be convinced that the business is real, legitimate and located in that specific area.
What does Google care about?
- People search online to ask questions and find answers.
Google, Bing and other platforms number ONE priority is to answer the user’s question as fast and as precisely as possible. Whichever websites can do that will rank at the top or very close to it, not including ads.
This should never be forgotten when designing a website, blog or SEO improvement plan and it should always be factored in from start to finish.
But don’t confuse “fast” with having the shortest webpage(s) or blog to answer a certain question. Sometimes things can be answered or explained in 50-100 words with no images and be ranked high but other times it takes 2000+ words, 1000 backlinks, 5 infographics, plus a video all on a single page.
Every webpage on your site should speak precisely to the target customers you’re trying to reach.
Essentially, the better each page solves the user’s problem the better your Local SEO and overall SEO will be.
Why can Local SEO be so important?
SEO is one of the very few acquisition channels with true scaling ability.
If done correctly, it can give your business and website an enormous amount of ongoing valuable web traffic at a low cost. If you successfully plan and execute on it, you can convert additional customers and have improved sales month over month.
Local optimization can improve your presence in all overall search results including on mobile devices, google maps and also for “close by suggestions and recommendations results” that are given to users when searching for particular places and/or services.
(Image Source – Search “Digital Marketing in White Rock”)
Ranking for close by suggestions and recommendations:
When someone searches for services in a geographically localized search, these are usually brick and mortar businesses and/or service area businesses. The user search might look something like:
“General contractor in [“city name”] OR “Plumber near me”
Or like the example in the picture above “Digital Marketing Companies in White Rock”.
Where do I start, and how do I rank locally?
For local improvement of close by map ranking factors, one of the best places to start is by setting up and optimizing your “Google My Business” listing.
If you don’t have a page set up yet, no worries just click this google my business setup link and claim your page now.
Having a Google My Business page can help tremendously for proximity searches and for building up trust with Google.
Also, it allows your customers to quickly view important info like store & holiday hours, directions, phone number(s), contact email, website address, indoor/outdoor pictures and much more like being able to leave a review.
On a recent 2018 SEO, a local case study by Moz.com, who is highly regarded in the SEO industry, ranked this as the number one factor for local SEO in 2018 and a top SEO tool. We believe it is always a great place to start building for anybody with only basic technical skills and some focus.
2. Claim Your Business Page on Top Sites
This would be called link building and it’s valuable and relatively easy. Depending on your business and industry your list could includes such websites like:
• Google My Business Reviews
• Trip Advisor,
• Better Business Bureau,
You will need to analyze which ones are best for your business and company industry then optimize your pages. Keeping these business pages updated will tell these high valued platforms on these search engines like Google your essentially taking your business seriously.
Don’t forget to have an actual business strategy for getting customer reviews on your most valued ones if they accept reviews.
3. Optimizing Your Website (Technical SEO)
The first thing you will need is to make a goal or mission before you start optimizing your website for local SEO success.
Common goals for improving your website SEO would be to be seen more would equal getting more online impressions.
Impressions are when an advertisement or any other form of digital media renders on a user’s screen. Impressions are not action-based and are merely defined by a user potentially seeing it on.
Other common goals are to higher overall clicks/users, improve CTR (click-thru rates), user experiences, and conversions. Now with these goals and/or missions you can then, in turn, start working on strategies, tasks and work to improve them. Solving and improving these valueable things then it turn would improve your company conversions, sales or overall success.
A great free program to help with analyzing your current website is Google Search Console is it shows you many valuable things backed with data. It will give current error reports of areas you can improve and also show you what your current website users are searching into Google currently to find you. As you make improvements you can then also analyze what is working and what isn’t working for your overall website and also individual pages.
Leading Local SEO Factors:
An important part of Local SEO is “On-Page SEO” which is the practice of optimizing each individual web page in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. It is recommended this task/work should always be completed when setting up a website as well as ongoing.
If you want to get started today here is a good starting list of top factors:
- Google My Business Profile + Online Reviews.
- Social Media Marketing – linked pages, sharing, reviews, events, engagement, FB ads etc.
- Citation/Directory Listings (Backlinks)
- Blogging – local-specific content & keywords.
- Website structure – (Very important if you serve multiple cities).
- Title Tags, keywords, Meta Desc, headers, H1-H3 tags, Alt Tags and overall copywriting.
- Matching phone, name & address to your website & Google.
- Google Map embedded on Your website.
- Local backlink & directory building (Image attached below of one way to check for local high authority domains)
- On-Page Optimization (length customers spend and how they interact on your webpages
- Have a mobile-friendly website (Very important)
- Including a Call to actions (CTA) on most or all web pages.
- Having reviews and testimonials.
Get started today with these leading SEO & Local SEO tools:
(Paid & Free – Tools & Versions Available)
- Google Analytics (Free)
- Google My Business (Free)
- Google Keyword Planner (Free) Must have Google Ads Account.
- SEMRush (Free & Paid)
- Ahrefs – (Paid only)
- Moz – (Paid & Free)
- SERPs.com (Paid & Free)
- Yoast SEO – (Paid & Free) WordPress websites.
- KeywordTool.io – Youtube, Amazon & eBay Keyword tools.
- UberSuggest – (Paid & Free)
- TheHoth – (Paid & Free)
- Answer The Public – (Paid & Free) Top Customer Questions on Topics.
- Google Pagespeed Insights (Free)
- Google Mobile-Friendly Test (Free)
- Pingdom – (Paid & Free) Website Page Speed testing.
- ImageOptim.com (Free)
- ImageCompressor.com (Free)
Now you have some good starting knowledge and industry-leading SEO tools to plan your current or next business locally.
The information, strategies, and tips included in this local SEO guide can be used to positively impact many different areas of your website and overall sales.
Is there anything holding you back from starting today?
Let us know if you have any questions or ideas!